5 reasons I run

This has been a tough couple weeks on the running front, full of some big D’s: depressing, disappointing, discouraging…

During Sunday’s run – that finished my knee – I started telling myself reasons why I love running. I narrowed my list down to 5 main ones that really make this sport important to me.

I run for the challengeRunning does not come easily to me. Some people are just natural runners…. and I am decidedly not one of them. But I think this is part of why I’m drawn to it: I thrive on the challenge. I like to make lists and schedules, track progress and measure improvement, all of which running allows. I can see improvement in the times and distances, and I’m driven by that.

i run to discoverI’ve discovered so much about myself through running. How I handle the physical challenge, how I motivate myself through a long run, how I stick to the challenge set before me. I’ve discovered how strong my body really is – we can really do some amazing things! I’ve also discovered how strong I am mentally. I usually don’t run with music, so it gives me plenty of opportunity for self–reflection and thought.

Through running, I also discover new methods, new tools and new communities. I can’t say enough about the blogging and twitter communities I’m blessed to be a part of. These people are incredible athletes and are so motivating.

I run to energizeI feel most alive when I run regularly. The fresh air, the movement, the chance to unplug… it’s one of the most refreshing things I can do. It helps relieve stress and tension, clear my mind and feel more at peace. I think sometimes only runners can really understand the refreshing and energizing nature of a good run. I love a good HIIT workout, strength training or yoga session, as well… but there really is nothing like a good run on my favorite trail.

I run for the freedomLikewise, the freedom I feel on a run is unparalleled. Every once in a while, I just feel like my legs could go forever and carry me wherever I wanted. And even on the days when they feel more like lead – or like nothing due to numbness – I’m still amazed at the strength of my body to just run. There is so much freedom in knowing I have the strength to overcome challenges; in being outside and “one with nature” so to speak; in the time for thought and reflection…. freedom in the “me” time!

I run to overcomeIf you’ve read this blog at all, you know I struggle with my legs going numb below the knees. You probably also know I had to stop running for 6 weeks this summer, and am dealing with a knee injury right now. It often feels like as soon as I get in a groove and really feel like I”m growing as a runner, something happens to significantly derail my progress.

As frustrating as this is, I have not once been tempted to stop the sport all together. I need to stop for recovery… but I will overcome these challenges and I will grow as a runner. The mental game is just as challenging as the physical, and I’m not giving up on either.

I want to know! Why do you run?
What makes you lace up and get moving day after day?


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6 thoughts on “5 reasons I run

  1. I’m sorry about your knee injury. I think the most frustrating thing is WANTING to be active and physically not being able.

    I run because it has given me the biggest sense of accomplishment and more confidence in myself than anything else. And the community/race fun definitely help make it enjoyable!

    • I agree, the sense of accomplishment is key. And it happens so many ways! Sometimes I feel accomplished after reaching a distance goal. Other times I just feel it because the run *felt* good, or because I really didn’t want to get out and did it anyway.

      Just followed your blog – I love your bucket list! Congrats on your first marathon last month! Also, I like the blog theme, too. 😉

  2. Love this post! I can identify with ALL of your reasons. I run to prove to myself that I can do something hard – mentally, physically and emotionally – by myself. To prove my own strength to myself. To cultivate grit.

    And then other times, it is for pure enjoyment and getting out there with friends and my community. But those tough, solo runs are where I grow the most!

    • (Wow, we all like the same blog theme { see comment above } Great creative minds think alike! Your travelogue is fantastic, too).

      Anyway, your comment about doing something “by myself” really struck me, and it’s so true! Team sports are great, and I’ve played my share. My husband runs with me on occasion, too, so my runs are not always alone. But it really is a challenge that each runner does on her/his own. I decide how much to push myself; how much I grow; how much I learn.

      I decide how much grit I cultivate. Love it. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Pingback: Running & Discovering | Run5kaday's Blog

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